The League of Legends Challengers Korea (LCK) has reached the halfway point and since a lot of the teams have found their strides and showcased what they’re made of, it’s a great time to determine who are the best LCK teams 2021 has to offer. Korea has started out strong and as the defending champion region, they’re trying to make a statement about how they’re ready to stand up against anyone who’s trying to take the throne from them during the Worlds 2021 tournament.
LCK Teams 2021 Spring Power Rankings
The first round robin of the LCK has come to an end and the second rotation is about to begin with some of the teams look very stable. At the end of the 2020 season, the LCK hasn’t undergone a drastic change with some of the more prominent rosters only receiving minor changes such as replacing 1 or 2 players. Meanwhile, some teams that have struggled before are trying to change the narrative by finally making their moves on some big-named players.
The LCK Teams 2021 list have some names being completely rebranded. Regardless of the rebranding, the teams’ core identities have remained the same and it shows prominently during their games. While there isn’t a guarantee that the same 3 teams will be dominating the season once again, we’re already looking at those teams at the top of the list. With the exception of some names that are looking to make a comeback to prominence and running as the tournament’s dark horses.
1. Damwon Kia
Formerly known as Damwon Gaming, DK are the defending champions who won the Worlds 2020 Cup against LPL’s Suning Gaming 3-1. They were a dominant force in 2020 who were miles behind in terms of skill against even the 2nd place team last year. This year, they lost their superstar Top Laner – Nuguri – but gained another big name in the top lane which is Khan. We can’t really say that Nuguri wasn’t a significant loss to Damwon but Khan sure is earning his keep in the current iteration of the team.
- Star Players: Showmaker (Mid), Canyon (JG)
- Highest Achievement: Worlds 2020 Champion
- Team Identity: Cool, calm, and calculated macro destruction
For 2021 Spring, there’s a high probability that Damwon Kia will be taking everything home. They are looking like the unstoppable force they were in 2020 Summer and with Khan joining the fray, every other team looks mediocre at best. We dare say that Damwon Kia is looking like the best team in the WORLD judging from their performance. As of February 21, they have only lost 1 time and are making every other team look like children.
Gen.G is the only team in the LCK Teams 2021 list that retained their 2020 roster. The team is known for its consistent botlane strength with Clid facilitating the entire map and keeping everything in check. The 2020 season showcased the potential of Gen.G but it still looks like both solo lanes have failed to improve. Retaining their consistent Top & Mid Lane may be a safe move but unless those players manage to break their limits, Gen.G has very little chance of surpassing Damwon Kia.
- Star Players: Clid (JG), Ruler (ADC)
- Highest Achievement: Worlds 2017 Champion
- Team Identity: Consistent Bot Lane Funnel
The 2021 Season has been pretty much the same for Gen.G. They are looking like a top team but are miles behind Damwon Kia. They lose games from strong teams but put up a fight. It also looks like the organization is willing to experiment in their substitutes to check if the results will change. The Jungle and Bot Lane have continued to dominate. Ruler and Life have moved up to being the undoubted best Bottom Lane Duo in the LCK and no one else comes close.
3. Hanwha Life Esports
HLE is basically a clone of last year’s DragonX. While DRX currently ranks higher than HLE in terms of standings, this team has more potential in the long term. During the 2020 season, HLE was a bottom-tier team and didn’t look like challengers but after procuring some big names across the world, HLE has finally decided that they want to take a chance on the trophy. With Chovy leading the helm, Hanwha Life Esports is a team not to be underestimated.
- Star Players: Chovy (Mid), Deft (ADC)
- Highest Achievement: N/A
- Team Identity: Chovy vs The World
The biggest problem that Chovy has had ever since he left Griffin is that he can’t seem to find synergy with his teams. Don’t misunderstand, Chovy is a great midlaner and is ALWAYS the reason why his team wins. Unfortunately, the rest of his team needs to step up if they want to be a team worthy of challenging the greats. Chovy can’t always carry every game especially if every other lane seems to be ahead. Fortunately, his new teammates are yet to unlock their potential and might surprise us sometime soon.
DragonX is the biggest surprise on this list because they don’t have the most impressive names on paper. Among the LCK teams 2021 rosters, this one is definitely the one that we can consider as the underdog. With Pyosik as the only player left from the 2nd place DRX roster back in 2020, he’s showing that DragonX was more than just Chovy. He is looking for redemption for his subpar performance in the international stage and is looking to retain the good name of DRX.
- Star Players: Pyosik (JG), Kingen (Top)
- Highest Achievement: Worlds 2020 Top 8
- Team Identity: Kings of the Jungle
DragonX is a pretty messy team who likes to take scrappy fights and wins them. They try to secure objective monopoly and always try to make a presence in the jungle. Pyosik has proved himself as a very capable jungler despite being only a 2nd year into the LCK. The best part about the current DRX is that they’re a team essentially made up of rookies who have potential. They’re already shining now but if they continue to develop, who knows what they might achieve in the next split.
T1 in 2020 was looking like a challenger team until suddenly, they weren’t. The team retains the consistency of a good team but right now, you can’t exactly say they’re at the peak. The team lost the chance to go to worlds in 2020 after losing in the Regional Gauntlet against Gen.G after suddenly replacing the entirety of their roster at the last minute. There are rumors that Faker Might Retire Soon but no evidence has yet to prove this.
- Star Players: Faker (Mid), Keria (SUP)
- Highest Achievement: 3x World Champion
- Team Identity: Faker and his children
The state of T1 in 2021 is very confusing considering that the team is swapping their rosters regularly and subbing in new players. They look like a team who’s trying to develop young talent as an investment towards the future and isn’t looking to win big in the season but just so happen to have really good rookies that they’re able to secure a Top 5 spot. T1 might have been drawing a bigger plan for the future while the teams try to duke it out in the present. Besides, T1 has nothing left to prove to the world.
Dark Horse: Afreeca Freecs
Afreeca Freecs have always been one of the more decent teams in the LCK but the problem is they never got higher than decent. During the 2020 Summer Season, Afreeca Freecs were called the Gatekeepers as they didn’t have the ability to beat the top teams but was also strong enough to demolish the weaker teams. This placed them at the middle of the pack where they could only rely on Kiin, one of the best top laners in LCK history.
- Star Players: Kiin (Top), Bang (ADC)
- Highest Achievement: Worlds 2018 Top 8
- Team Identity: Kiin and his struggling team
When the world looked at the LCK Teams 2021 roster list, Afreeca Freecs stood out as one of the strongest looking lineups. Unfortunately, they couldn’t bring the expectation home and struggled really hard during the first round robin ending in the standings with 3-6 essentially. This looks like the team has an issue finding a strategy that works for them. The team still contains a talented list of players and might surprise us when they finally get to pop off. Is this finally the time that we get to see Kiin with the team that he deserves?
Who has the highest chance of winning LCK 2021?
Among the list of LCK Teams 2021, Damwon Kia retains their position as the most dominant team in the region. As of their performances in the first round robin of Spring 2021, they look pretty much unchallenged in every role and have defeated every other team aside from their minor setback against Fredit BRION.
Why did Nuguri leave Damwon?
In an interview with Korizon Esports’ Ashley Kang, he mentioned that he wanted to make the most out of experiencing free agency. He decided either to go back to Damwon or go to the LPL where he will be challenged by some of the most talented top lane talents in the world to test his own skills and limitations.